Balancing Cancer and Your Career
A cancer diagnosis may not have to end your career. You might not even be able to let it. Many people need to keep working because they need the income to pay for their treatments — on top of their regular monthly expenses. If you hope to keep your job, you’re going to have to find a way to balance your cancer and your career.
Seek Alternative Treatments
Chemotherapy and radiation can make you extremely sick. You’ll likely need lots of time off work as you go through these treatment options. Start by seeking alternative treatments. You might be able to find some natural methods or minimally invasive procedures that help you fight your cancer while still being able to maintain a work-life balance.
Sonodynamic therapy, for example, is a short procedure that can take just 20 minutes per day, four days in a row. You’ll have a week of normalcy before needing to return to these appointments again. You may be able to schedule the session on a break or before or after work. This therapy focuses on the affected area. Sonosensitizers make the tissue sensitive to ultrasound, which also gets used in this process. Combine this with healthier eating and avoiding bad habits and you may have a good chance of fighting your cancer symptoms.
You may not be able to fulfill your same work duties as you did before. Perhaps you can continue your duties, but you just need to make a few changes. Request the accommodations you need to make it easier to get your job done. You can still be useful yet not overexert yourself.
A doctor’s note may be needed in some workplaces to ensure these accommodations are followed. Maybe you need to sit while you work instead of standing or be placed at a station closer to a bathroom. Making some minor changes can go a long way in helping you deal with your cancer while still maintaining your career.
Manage Your Mental Health
Feeling sick or weak isn’t all you have to deal with when you have cancer. Your mental health can take a dive as well. You need to find ways to manage your mental health at work so you can do your best to make it through the day. Start by letting others know what you’re going through. Keeping it to yourself can eat away at you. You’ll also be more likely to attempt to handle tasks on your own even though you know you should seek assistance. Tell your boss and your co-workers that you have cancer and you may need their help at times to make it through the day. It can be a lot of stress off your shoulders to know others are there to help.
Talking to a professional is also wise. You should speak with a therapist about how your cancer diagnosis makes you feel. Tell them about your struggles with the illness and how work can be difficult some days. Expressing your thoughts and emotions helps to release them so they aren’t left swirling in your head while you’re working.
Find Flexible Work
You might realize that the job you have just won’t cut it. That doesn’t mean you have to give up working entirely. You can find flexible work that allows you to earn an income while also having time for your cancer treatments. A part-time job may be necessary or you can find opportunities to work from home. Contract work and freelancing jobs are becoming more popular.
Dealing with cancer is never easy. Add work to the mix and you have an abundance of stress that isn’t good for the cancer or your mental well-being. Do what you can to make the cancer/career balance a bit easier to manage so you can earn money while still working to improve your health.